What is olsalazine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Olsalazine is an oral medication that works as an anti-inflammatory drug for treating inflammatory diseases of the colon. It is a derivative of salicylic acid. Inactive itself, it is converted by the bacteria in the colon to its active form, mesalamine. Following oral administration very little of the olsalazine (less than 10%) is absorbed from the intestine into the body. The benefit of mesalamine is believed to be due to a local effect from within the colon. Mesalamine also is thought to be the active component of another drug used for treating inflammatory diseases of the intestines, sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
  • Olsalazine was approved by the FDA in July 1990.
  • The brand names for olsalazine are is Dipentum.
  • Olsalazine is not available in generic form. You need a prescription to obtain this drug.

What is olsalazine used for?

Olsalazine is used to treat a digestive condition called ulcerative colitis or UC.

What is the dosage for olsalazine?

Olsalazine usually is administered at a dose of 500 mg (two capsules) twice daily. It should be taken with meals.

Is olsalazine safe to take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding?

Mesalamine, which is the active form of olsalazine, may be secreted into breast milk and cause diarrhea in the infant.

What else should you know about olsalazine?

What preparations of olsalazine are available?

Capsules: 250 mg.

How should I keep olsalazine stored?

The capsules should be kept at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

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Medically Reviewed on 11/15/2019


FDA Prescribing Information.